Book Review: The Homewreckers (ARC)

Expected publication: May 3rd 2022

Author: Mary Kay Andrews

Summer begins with MKA, in this delightful summer read about flipping houses, and finding true love.

Hattie Kavanaugh went to work helping clean up restored homes for Kavanaugh & Son Restorations at eighteen; married the boss’s son at twenty; and was only twenty-five when her husband, Hank, was killed in a motorcycle accident.

Broken hearted, but determined to continue the business of their dreams, she takes the life insurance money, buys a small house in a gentrifying neighborhood, flips it, then puts the money into her next project. But that house is a disaster and a money-loser, which rocks her confidence for years to come. Then, Hattie gets a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: star in a beach house renovation reality show called “The Homewreckers,” cast against a male lead who may be a love interest, or may be the ultimate antagonist. It’s a question of who will flip, and who will flop, and will Hattie ever get her happily-ever-after.

The Homewreckers follows Harriet (Hattie) Kavanaugh, a home renovator in Savannah, Georgia. In her early thirties, she never expected to be a widow after losing her husband, Hank, a few years before in a motorcycle accident. She maintains an excellent relationship with her in-laws and actually works with her father-in-law, Tug, for her renovation projects under his and Hank’s company, Kavanaugh and Son. Her current project is turning into a huge money pit, so she is highly tempted when a tv producer, Mauricio (Mo) Lopez approaches her about a new home improvement show called Saving Savannah.

Hattie and her friend, construction foreman, Cassidy (Cass) Pelletier, finally find a house that will work for the renovation show on Tybee Island, a nearby barrier island connected by a bridge. After the show has been added to the fall line-up of Home Place Television, the showrunner decides to ramp up the series by changing the name to The Homewreckers and adding in a California designer, Trae Bartholomew. Trae and Hattie butt heads on design choices and the house is proving to be a lot more work than expected. During the renovation, Hattie discovers a wallet that leads to a possible connection to a missing person’s case from 17 years ago.

Hattie was a great main character as she was trying to stay strong on the outside even while she is still healing internally from the loss of her husband. She also struggles with the obstacles she faces during her renovation projects as she loves to restore houses, but the many pitfalls frustrate her. I absolutely loved her relationship with Tug as they still are family even if Hank is no longer with them. I also loved the friendship between Hattie and Cass as they worked well together in their actual restoration and their personalities played off each other well. With both Mo and Trae as possible love interests, I enjoyed that this storyline played in the background and I liked how it played out. The added reality tv show elements were fun as they kept all of the characters and story connected.

Overall, this was a very fun read. While there are many small elements going on, the story itself is easy to follow. The characters were all enjoyable and they worked well together even if I did not like a few of them in some moments. The story starts a little slow as Hattie’s character is introduced, but picks up more once the main renovation begins. While I am not always a fan of slower starts, it worked well in this story as it did not seem dragged out for no reason. I cannot believe that this is the author’s 30th novel! That is a fantastic accomplishment and I am reminded of how many stories from the author are still on my TBR.

**I want to give a special thank you to Netgalley and the publisher, St. Martin’s Press, for a review copy of this entertaining and enjoyable novel. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.**

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